Sustainability is about ecology, economy and equity.- Ralph Bicknese

Spring has sprung! –Some spring cleaning ideas and ways to brighten the days with Seattle showers

The first step to enjoying spring (if you aren’t already) is to prepare for all the fun you’ll be having and carve out some space to enjoy the wonderful things that come with spring. Hopefully you’re already doing a few of these!

1) Spruce up your closet – (Donate, Shuffle, or Re-purpose)

Spring cleaning is not complete without going through your wardrobe. I know it’s time to do some rearranging when I have to dig past sweaters to get to t-shirts and tank tops. It’s helpful to go through clothing when the seasons change to see what you will continue to use as is, what you want to donate, and what you might want to give a face lift.donation-pick-up

A few ways I adjust my clothes for the new season is through creating cuffs on my jeans, or roll the sleeves on a t-shirt into a tank top. That way you don’t damage the clothes, and can still use them during the colder months.

Re-purposing clothes that have lived a long life in their current state, but still have integrity is another great way to adjust to the changing seasons. If you want to get a bit crafty you can cut up some tattered pieces and create interesting patches on a pair of old jeans or a new pocket on a t-shirt for a face lift. There are many other blogs and the infamous Pinterest for ideas and tutorials, so if you want to know more there are lots of options!

2) Tidy up your windowsills and blinds – Clean using green products, and get ready for the sunshine!

Recently in my apartment we’ve started opening our blinds more frequently, and noticed that the windows got a bit gross over the winter. If you live in the Pacific Northwest you’re no stranger to mold. Be sure to check your windows frequently and report any mold to your landlord if you are a renter. Be careful if you are trying to clean up mold because it can be aerosolized and breathed in!

If you are free of this monster, you still might be experiencing a bit of dust from the winter months. Using just a damp cloth you can wipe down the windowsills and blinds to get rid of the pesky particles. Try going back and forth between a wet and dry cloth for the best pick up. Then wash your windows with any of these cleaners or your favorite glass cleaner to let the sunshine stream in!

3) Dust! Whether it be your bike that has been a bit under used this winter, or the top of the fridge that you can now see because of the sunlight in your house or apartment, dusting is a great part of spring cleaning. Similar to how you care for your blinds and windowsills, try to reach some forgotten places that need attention. Dusting is helpful to reduce nose and throat irritation and can help prevent some of the seasonal allergy flare ups that happen with lots of pollen in the air. This is especially helpful if you like to leave your windows and doors open for that lovely breeze. Along with dusting, vacuuming is a great way to get rid of dust and pollen that could be trapped in your carpet.

Brighten with:

1) Potted plants over cut flowers –Maybe even aloe for that potential sunburn

A wonderful part of springtime is the gorgeous flowers, and a great way to appreciate them is to take care of some in your home, apartment, or dorm room. Keeping flowers in a pot instead of getting cut flowers not only prolongs their life, but allows you to be part of the process of growth and life. A great way to be a part of this on campus is to go to the annual Plant Sale from the Biology Department, which will be happening May 7th and 8th this year in the greenhouse on the 3rd floor of Eaton Hall.

2) Repurposed items from garage sales – Mirrors, end tables, or old paintings

Springtime is the garage sale season! Some items that are easily re-purposed and can really brighten a room are mirrors, end tables and paintings. Mirrors can reflect the sunlight that streams in to increase natural light and lower the need for electricity, so hanging up one with a freshly painted frame or a decal on the corner can add some character to your room for spring time. End tables can be painted (outside or in a well ventilated space over a tarp) or distressed with a sander to create an older look. Patterns or bright colors can make your table unique, plus it’s a great place to put your potted flowers. Old paintings can be expensive, or cheap depending on where you go. I personally found a few next to the dumpster in my apartment building when people moved out, but garage sales or try community groups like “Free or For Sale” Facebook pages (there is one specifically for SPU students), Freecycle, or BuyNothing to find good deals in your area.

Photo Credit:

Spring Co-ed Spikeball  Photo Credit:

3) Exercise! Enjoying the weather during sunny seasons is a great way to brighten your day.

Even if it just means going outside on your lunch break, or parking a bit further away in the morning so that you walk further to work or school, exercising is a great way to improve your mood. Endorphins released during exercise increase the feeling of being happy. Also exposure to a bit of sunlight can help your body produce Vitamin D, which can also make your body a bit more cheery. There are even hikes being offered by ORP this spring, find out more info at their website.  In addition to hikes, sports or fitness classes on campus are a fun way to exercise and spend time with your friends. Check out the Intramurals page for more information and ways to get moving!

Feel free to add your ideas for springtime in the comments section!

Author: Lauren

SPU Student

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